Sonata for solo violin No. 1 in G minor BWV 1001
Partita for solo violin No. 1 in B minor BWV 1002
Sonata for solo violin No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003
Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major BWV 1006
Sonata for solo violin No. 3 in C major BWV 1005
Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004
A Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin event
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote in 1774 of his father Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas and partitas for violin solo that there was “nothing more perfect in order to become a good violinist.” Similarly, the first Bach biographer, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, stated at the beginning of the 19th century that because of their exorbitant technical difficulties, these compositions could only be study resources that would enable “an eager-to-learn student to completely master his instrument”.
Three generations later, Philipp Spitta claimed to hear the “character of the demonic” in them. Bach as a devil violinist …? There can be no doubt that Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin are hellishly difficult. Yet they by no means represent a compendium of virtuoso violin technique, but also bear witness to Bach’s incomparable compositional artistry and timeless expressive force. In a breath-taking solo performance, violinist Isabelle Faust will present Bach’s complete works for violin solo – from the neck-breaking Sonata in G minor through to the contrapuntal masterpiece of the partita in D minor.